How many pundits can Evan McMullin win over?

As Trump Melts Down, Conservative Pundits Move Toward … Evan McMullin

As Trump Melts Down, Conservative Pundits Move Toward … Evan McMullin

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The Slatest
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Oct. 14 2016 5:35 PM

This Week’s Conservative Pundit Tracker: Hot-Mic Fallout Edition

Donald Trump had yet another very bad week.

Photo by Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images

Each week we’re publishing a new chart showing where our group of 25 right-wing pundits stand on the question of Trump, and you’ll be able to look back at past weeks to see if minds are changing. Our categories are “Voting Trump,” “Voting Clinton,” “Not Voting,” “Someone Else,” and “Inscrutable.” Someone else means either a third party candidate or a write-in. Inscrutable includes pundits who have voiced opposition to both Trump and Clinton, but are otherwise undecided, and those who are sharply critical of Trump but haven’t stated a preferred alternative. Click on a pundit’s head to see what he or she has said about the election this week. (If someone doesn’t write or speak or tweet—crazy, but possible—in a given week, we’ll assume they are “thinking…” Also: We are scouring the internet obsessively, but it’s a big place and it’s possible someone will say something that we miss. We are confident you’ll let us know in comments if so!)

Will the Inscrutables pull it together come November? Will anyone else jump on the Hillary train? Will more pundits coalesce around a third-party candidate? Or will everyone eventually fall into line for Trump between now and Election Day? Keep an eye on this weekly tracker to find out.


If one thing is clear less than a month before Election Day, it’s that most of our conservative pundits have not been swayed by either Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton. Only a handful of them are voting for either candidate, with many more vouching to vote for a third party or staying mum on specifics while criticizing both.

Trump did lose one of his staunchest defenders over the Access Hollywood hot-mic recording that broke late Friday afternoon last week. Radio host Hugh Hewitt, who had often said that Trump was bad but not as bad as Hillary, finally gave up after Trump revealed a penchant for sexual assault.

In a column for the Washington Examiner, Hewitt expanded on that tweet and expressed hope that the GOP could at least hold on to its congressional majorities. “It's a bad dream for Republicans,” he wrote. “A nightmare in fact. But it will be over if not this week then next month. And the party will hopefully keep its majorities and keep up the good fight.”

Our only other two solid Trump supporters—Dennis Prager and Thomas Sowell—maintain that Hillary is still worse.


Charles Krauthammer, who remains in our “inscrutable” category, was offended by Trump’s vow, during Sunday night’s debate, to send Hillary to prison for her email scandal. “That’s not Hitler, Stalin. That’s Banana Republic,” he said on Fox News.

A few pundits are making up their minds—over which independent candidate to vote for. The Resurgent’s Erick Erickson gave up the dream of writing in Peyton Manning and instead will write in Evan McMullin, a former CIA officer from Utah who is making that diehard red state suddenly very interesting, electorally speaking.

In a transcript of her conversation with McMullin on Syria that she shared on, S.E. Cupp suggested she might be leaning McMullin as well: “For those of us who think this a crucial national security and humanitarian crisis, and who believe neither Trump nor Clinton have the right answers, McMullin could just be the only choice on November 8.”

 We should have created a place in the tracker for McMullin. Anyway, on to it.

Rachael Larimore is the online managing editor of the Weekly Standard and a former Slate senior editor.

Suzanne Monyak is a Slate intern.

Andrew Kahn is Slate’s assistant interactives editor. Follow him on Twitter.

Holly Allen is a Slate web designer.